Lupus Advocacy Report
by Kelsey Schmitt
The Merriam- Webster dictionary defines advocacy as, “the act or process of supporting a cause or proposal”. On March 19-20th, I participated in the Lupus Research Alliance 2018 Advocacy and Hill Day. I advocated for all of the patients that are affected with this brutal disease. During the advocacy day, we met with our local legislatures and had a brief conversation with their team. We asked that they support the Congressional Lupus Caucus. We also asked our constituents to support 38.4 billion to the National Institute of Health (NIH) for fiscal year 2018. This money would support innovative research and have the opportunity to look for more studies in the disease. Lastly, we also asked for support $10 million for fiscal year 2018 in the Department of Defense (DOD) Appropriations Bill. More than 90% of Lupus patients are women. DOD shows that there is an increase in inactive duty, retired, and reserves women in the military. The money would have allocated for more research for lupus.
When we met on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 with our legislators, they were supportive of our cause. Hearing our voice and listening to what the disease is all about makes an impact on our government. We will continue to advocate for Lupus in hopes of advancement in the disease.